Over 500,000 cars im­ported to Kur­dis­tan in four years

Sta­tis­ti­cal Re­ports: 780 peo­ple died in traf­fic ac­ci­dents in the past 10 months

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Zakaria Muhammed

The de­mand for cars in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has in­creased con­sid­er­ably over the last decade as the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion of the lo­cal peo­ple im­proves. In­creased de­mand has been fed by the con­tin­u­ous im­port of new card. Govern­ment sta­tis­tics re­veal that around 500, 000 ve­hi­cles have been im­ported into Kur­dis­tan over the past four years, a fig­ure equal to the num­ber of cars im­ported in the forty years be­fore that.

Based on sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Gen­eral Direc­torate of Traf­fic Po­lice in the Re­gion, 528, 307 cars en­tered the coun­try be­tween 31 De­cem­ber 2009 and 31 Oc­to­ber 2013. In other words, nearly 80, 000 cars a year have been im­ported into the re­gion, mostly to the Kur­dish cap­i­tal of Er­bil. There are cur­rently 1,370,063 cars in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

“Im­port­ing cars has cre­ated traf­fic prob­lems and traf­fic ac­ci­dents have in­creased as a re­sult,” said Bri­gadier Gen. Qader Sideeq, Di­rec­tor of the Re­gion’s Gen­eral Direc­torate of the Me­dia and Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion

Sideeq be­lieves ac­ci­dents will con­tinue to in­crease if the govern­ment does not place lim­its on the hap­haz­ard im­por­ta­tion of au­to­mo­biles into the re­gion.

“Our roads and streets are in­ca­pable of hold­ing these many cars. The govern­ment also has to have strate­gic plans and projects for build­ing more roads, bridges, tun­nels and pedes­trian cross­ings. Oth­er­wise, mov­ing will be al­most im­pos­si­ble in the near fu­ture,” noted Sideeq.

In Sideeq’s view, im­port­ing ve­hi­cles re­quires sci­en­tific and ac­cu­rate stud­ies and the flow of ve­hi­cles into the re­gion should be limited. He also said that old cars should be stopped from run­ning as they have a neg­a­tive im­pact on hu­man health and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Direc­torate, 780 peo­ple died and 10, 540 oth­ers were in­jured in car ac­ci­dents over the last 10 months, with 280 deaths and 3,808 in­juries in Er­bil Prov­ince alone. In all, 200 peo­ple died and 2,534 oth­ers were in­jured in Su­laimaniya prov­ince, with 211 deaths and 3,485 in­juries in Duhok Prov­ince.

The sta­tis­tics also show that 28 peo­ple died and 248 oth­ers were in­jured in So­ran Dis­trict, while 40 peo­ple were in­jured in the Garmiyan area, and 16 peo­ple died and 149 oth­ers were in­jured in the Ra­pa­reen area.

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) has de­cided to stop im­port­ing poor qual­ity cars into the re­gion as of 15 Fe­bru­ary 2014 . Ac­cord­ing to me­dia out­lets, the de­ci­sion was de­signed to al­low busi­ness­men with close ties to the rul­ing par­ties to es­tab­lish a mo­nop­oly. How­ever, other ex­perts view the de­ci­sion as be­ing in the pub­lic in­ter­est. How­ever, shop own­ers have raised con­cern over po­ten­tial plans to raise the price of car num­ber plates, and this news has frus­trated the pub­lic. Many be­lieve the KRG should reg­u­late the mar­ket and en­sure that lo­cal busi­nesses do not ex­ploit the cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion at the ex­pense of the pub­lic.

Passersby ob­serve a three-car ac­ci­dent in Er­bil.

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